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Am J Chin Med. 2014;42(4):869-89. doi: 10.1142/S0192415X14500554.

Lotus leaf (Nelumbo nucifera) and its active constituents prevent inflammatory responses in macrophages via JNK/NF-κB signaling pathway.

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Institute of Toxicology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Inflammation is a serious health issue worldwide that induces many diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), sepsis, acute pancreatitis and lung injury. Thus, there is a great deal of interest in new methods of limiting inflammation. In this study, we investigated the leaves of Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn, an aquatic perennial plant cultivated in eastern Asia and India, in anti-inflammatory pharmacological effects in the murine macrophage cell line RAW264.7. Results showed that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) increased the protein expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and COX-2, as well as the mRNA expression and level of IL-6 and TNF-α, while NNE significantly reduced these effects of LPS. LPS also induced phospho-JNK protein expression. The JNK-specific inhibitor SP600125 decreased the proteins expression of phospho-JNK, iNOS, COX-2, and the mRNAs expression and levels of IL-6 and TNF-α. Further, NNE reduced the protein expression of phospho-JNK. LPS was also found to promote the translocation of NF-κB from the cytosol to the nucleus and to decrease the expression of cytosolic IκB. NNE and SP600125 treatment recovered the LPS-induced expression of NF-κB and IκB. While phospho-ERK and phospho-p38 induced by LPS, could not be reversed by NNE. To further investigate the major components of NNE in anti-inflammatory effects, we determined the quercetin and catechin in inflammatory signals. Results showed that quercetin and catechin significantly decreased the proteins expression of iNOS, COX-2 and phospho-JNK. Besides, the mRNAs and levels of IL-6 and TNF-α also decreased by quercetin and catechin treatment in LPS-induced RAW264.7 cells. These results showed that NNE and its major components quercetin and catechin exhibit anti-inflammatory activities by inhibiting the JNK- and NF-κB-regulated pathways and could therefore be an useful anti-inflammatory agent.


Anti-Inflammation; JNK; Lipopolysaccharide (LPS); NF-κB; Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn (NNE)

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